Taylor and I just spent our first major U.S. holiday away from home. Thanksgiving is a holiday we usually spend over-indulging in delicious food, and enjoying time with all our families. This was the first Thanksgiving we weren’t able to do that and we had no clue how to celebrate!
Early on we decided to just make a simple ‘Thanksgiving’ pizza then see how the rest of the day unfolded. No fuss or stress about it.
I spent a good part of the day being thankful for our last Thanksgiving, which our family put together for us in September right before we left the U.S. My dad and stepmom’s house was decked out in Thanksgiving (and Halloween) decor, and they didn’t hold back on making it seem like a real Thanksgiving with ham, tons of dressing, sweet potatoes, broccoli salad (who knows what I’m missing!), and tons of pie. Taylor and I made lemon and pumpkin pie and I tried my hand at a U.K. ‘banoffee’ pie, made with bananas, caramel and marscarpone cheese. (It was a shot in the dark, and too sweet for my liking, but turns out nearly every restaurant here serves banoffee pie, so my pre-UK research hit the nail on the head!) We were so grateful for the efforts put into giving us an early Thanksgiving!
On the actual day of, we decided to go into the city centre and fulfill some ‘Thanksgiving wishes’, or rather– we had a determination to do some things we’d been putting off. I wanted to mail off some letters, so we stopped by the post office for the first time, and Taylor wanted to grab a latte from Pret a’ Mangier. The latte is called the Love Bar Latte, named after their Love Bar granola bar and is one of the most delicious smelling and tasting lattes you can get. This wouldn’t be a big deal if the only Pret coffee shop in our town didn’t close at 5:30, since we rarely visit the city centre during the day. While we were there we saw all their Christmas-themed sandwiches, and one fit our Thanksgiving-filled day perfectly, with turkey, cranberry and dressing.
Once we succeeded in our mission, we walked to Sainsbury’s grocery store to begin shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner. While we were shopping it was interesting to note how ‘irresponsible’ it was of us to shop for our Thanksgiving meal on the day of Thanksgiving. I have no doubt in America if we weren’t fighting the empty shelves of Thanksgiving ingredients long gone, then we’d be fighting the desperate crowd of people. And of course, here, the only thing we were fighting is actually finding the ingredients at all.
It took us a while, but we managed to find most of what we needed, even though they had no pumpkin pie filling or canned cranberries.
It was really fun cooking. In order to speed up the process we took several shortcuts, since all of this effort was just going to go on top of a pizza crust. However, it was really fun boiling our cranberries and creating cranberry sauce to our flavor preference. In lieu of pumpkin, I decided to chop up some apples and make homemade mini apple and orange zest pies. The pizza turned out delicious and we even had enough to make a second pizza for the day after (leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving!)
Taylor was in charge of the entertainment, and tuned us in to the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Thanksgiving marathon, which we watched late into the night since it was on U.S. time.
We really enjoyed our Thanksgiving. We missed our families, missed the great food, but I’m happy to see we made the most of it and had a great time!